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Wednesday, January 17, 2018
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


The topological links in proteins and their macroassemblies

Pawel Dabrowski
University of Warsaw

The topology plays a crucial role in shaping the properties and function of proteins. For example, the topological knot formed by a protein's backbone stabilizes the structure and creates a favourable environment for the location of active sites of enzymes. Another type non-trivial protein structures are links, topologically equivalent to mutually piercing circles. The links enter the protein description on various levels (Fig. 1). They can be built by covalent loops in one chain, by whole chains, or linked can be the whole macromolecular protein assemblies (e.g. virus capsids). In the talk, I will briefly discuss the basics of mathematical knot theory, putting stress on the link classification. Next, I will present the application of the knot-theory tools in the identification of links in proteins. After presenting various protein links I will concentrate on the biological relevance of such topology. In particular, I will discuss the consequences for the evolution of such proteins and the topologically induced stability. The talk will finish by my own perspective, how link topology is utilized by host organisms, and how it can be utilized by humans.

Host: Angel Garcia